Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0
As soon often happens lately, I was asked by a family member to help pick out a tablet. Okay, if I'm honest, I wasn't really asked this time, but I was dragged along. It so happened that this was because a major chain store had the Samsung Galaxy 7 on sale for $179.99 ( down from it's usual $199.99). Now this isn't a huge savings but it is just enough to make it tempting. Long story short, the family member in question ( my mother, who wanted to replace her now dead Archos 7) did buy it. This meant that I get to set it up for her.
* Good, clear screen. Not the highest out there, but more then sufficient for web browsing, video, and the odd game.
* OS response is smooth and pleasant to use. Processor isn't the fastest, but it works well ( especially if you use Advanced Task Killer )
* Device construction seems very solid. Body is plastic, but with no creaks, rattles, or flexing.
* This model has been out for a while, and isn't the fastest or most state of the art anymore.
* Comes with Android 4.1.1 Ice Cream Sandwich. There doesn't seem to be an update to 4.2. If you want the newest version of the OS, get a Nexus 7.
*Camera is grainy. Doesn't like low light conditions.
* OS has Samsung's fingerprints all over it. Updates will be slow coming or none existant. For users new to Android, this could be a blessing since constant updates can be annoying. If you want a pure Android experience and the latest updates, the Nexus 7 is the way to go.
Screen size: 7"
Processor: 1GHz dual core TI
Networking: Wi fi
Memory: 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, up to 32GB in Micro SD slot
Battery: 4,000 mAh
One of the things that I am rapidly coming to realize since I started writing this blog ( something I had started to suspect while writing my last blog, PDA-Media.net) is that reviewing things kind of turns you into a snob! While reading reviews on various sites and blogs, I realized that they talk about every tablet and smartphone as if every user is a tech geek who will insist on running the most graphics intensive games, Watching 1080p HD videos, and spend there whole life on social media sites. The truth is, most of us may do those thing now and then, but most tablets with spend most of their lives doing Google searches, emailing, watching YouTube and Netflix videos, and playing Angry Birds.
All of that being said, If you are new to Android and tablets, the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 would be a great place to start.
The display is clear and looks good in indoor lighting, outside is readable but a bit washed out (Note: this is with the power saver setting on the screen). There are higher resolution screens out there like the Google Nexus 7 and the iPad Mini, but this one does look good.
The processor isn't the fastest out there, but you'd never know it when you use the 7.0. The Galaxy tab 2 7.0 runs very smoothly and only faulters when you first turn it on (this is were almost all tablets slow down briefly, as every app fights for resources and wi fi bandwidth). On screen animations and screen swipes move as smooth as butter. As a comparison to my Quad core powered 10" tablet, I ran Beach Buggy Blitz. The games graphics looked good (just smaller) compared to my larger tablet, with the only noticable difference being that lack of water splashes on the screen (that's a feature exclusive to devices running NVidia's Tegra 3 series processors, but you do miss them when there gone) and the game played smoothly with no lags or drop in frame rate.
Samsung added a lot of goodies to the Tab 2 7.0. The IR Blaster is a cute idea, allowing you to use it as a universal remote. I tried it with the included Peel Smart remote software, but my none name brand TV didn't seem to respond. There's also a lot of Samsung's proprietary software on the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 but new comers may find it fun.
My over all impression is that, while more seasoned gadget nuts may want to hold out for something like the Nexus 7, Apple fans will definately want to hold out for the iPad Mini, and Samsung undoubtedly has a newer model in the works (and already has the higher end Galaxy Note 8.0 in stores), if you are interested in finding out what all the fuss about tablets is about, now would be a great time to get a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, and that you won't be sorry that you did.
Questions? Comments? Leave em in the comments section